Missouri Human Cloning Ban Passes Senate Judiciary Committee
by Steven Ertelt
February 15, 2005
Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — A bill that would make it illegal to use human cloning for either reproduction or research in Missouri has passed out of a Senate committee. The vote is a fist step in a showdown over cloning and embryonic stem cell research.
The Senate Judiciary committee supported the bill 7-2 and it now heads to the Senate floor for debate. The legislation is drawing strong opposition from research universities and biotech companies that want to use human cloning to create human embryos to destroy for their stem cells.
The lopsided margin of the vote surprised many on both sides and Sen. Matt Bartle, the Republican who sponsored the measure, said it was encouraging.
“The ultimate question was whether the embryo that is created with SCNT [human cloning] is nascent human life,” Bartle told the Kansas City Star newspaper. “If the policy-maker answers yes to that question, I think he will vote yes.”
Sens. Charles Wheeler of Kansas City and Chuck Graham of Columbia, both Democrats, voted against the bill.
Graham said the vote margin showed the power of pro-life groups in the state.
"They were under incredible pressure to get it to the floor for discussion," Graham told the Star about a couple of the senators who voted for the bill. "I don’t know whether they would vote the same way (for passage). At this point, they don’t want to be singled out."
Pro-life groups such as Missouri Right to Life and the Missouri Catholic Conference support the bill. They say the use of adult stem cell research is more effective and is more ethical.